North Carolina Geography,
History, and Culture
Series Authors John D. Ellington Copyright © 2009 by Harcourt, Inc.
Dr. Michael J. Berson Division of Social Studies All rights reserved. No part of this
Professor North Carolina Department of Public publication may be reproduced or
Social Science Education Instruction transmitted in any form or by any
University of South Florida Raleigh, North Carolina means, electronic or mechanical,
Tampa, Florida including photocopy, recording, or
Laura Grifﬁn any information storage and retrieval
Dr. Tyrone C. Howard Teacher system, without permission in writing
Associate Professor Sherwood Park Elementary School from the publisher.
UCLA Graduate School of Education & Fayetteville, North Carolina
Requests for permission to make
Information Studies Sharon Hale copies of any part of the work should
University of California Los Angeles Teacher be addressed to:
Los Angeles, California Hillandale Elementary School School Permissions and Copyrights
Durham, North Carolina Harcourt, Inc.
Dr. Cinthia Salinas 6277 Sea Harbor Drive
Assistant Professor Dr. Ted Scott Henson Orlando, Florida 32887-6777
Department of Curriculum and Instruction Educational Consultant Fax: 407-345-2418
College of Education Burlington, North Carolina
The University of Texas at Austin HARCOURT and the Harcourt Logo
Austin, Texas Charlotte Heyliger are trademarks of Harcourt, Inc.,
Teacher registered in the United States of
North Carolina C. Wayne Collier Elementary School America and/or other jurisdictions.
Consultants and Hope Mills, North Carolina
Reviewers Printed in the United States of
Tony Iannone America
Jenny Bajorek Teacher
Teacher Nathaniel Alexander Elementary School ISBN-13: 978-0-15-356639-4
Northwoods Elementary School Charlotte, North Carolina ISBN-10: 0-15-356639-6
Cary, North Carolina
Judith McCray Jones If you have received these materials
Dan Barber Educational Consultant as examination copies free of charge,
Teacher Former Elementary School Administrator Harcourt School Publishers retains title
Idlewild Elementary School Greensboro, North Carolina to the materials and they may not be
Charlotte, North Carolina resold. Resale of examination copies is
Gwendolyn C. Manning strictly prohibited and is illegal.
Brianne Beck Teacher
Teacher Gibsonville Elementary School Possession of this publication in print
Allen Jay Elementary School Gibsonville, North Carolina format does not entitle users to convert
High Point, North Carolina this publication, or any portion of it,
Courtney McFaull into electronic format.
Melissa Blush Teacher
Teacher Sherwood Park Elementary School 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 030 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 09 08
Allen Jay Elementary School Fayetteville, North Carolina
High Point, North Carolina
Lydia Ogletree O’Rear
Ardelia Brown Teacher
Teacher Elmhurst Elementary School
Pearsontown Elementary School Greenville, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina
Alice M. Cook Teacher
Teacher Brooks Global Studies
Paw Creek Elementary School Greensboro, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina
Dean P. Sauls
Lori D. Davis Teacher
Teacher Wayne County Public Schools
C. Wayne Collier Elementary School Goldsboro, North Carolina
Hope Mills, North Carolina
Meadow Lane Elementary School
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Joseph E. Webb
East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina
I2 The Five Themes of Geography
I4 Looking at Earth
I6 Geography Terms
I8 Reading Maps
I10 Finding Locations
Geography Review ■ I1
The Five Themes of Geography GEOGRA
Learning about places is an important part of history and
geography. Geography is the study of Earth’s surface and
the way people use it. When geographers study Earth and
its geography, they often think about five main themes, or
topics. Keeping these themes in mind as you read will help
you think like a geographer.
Everything on Earth has its own
location—the place where
it can be found.
Every place has physical and human
features that make it different from all
other places. Physical features are
formed by nature. Human features
are made by people.
I2 ■ Introduction
People and their surroundings interact, or
affect each other. People’s activities may
change the environment. The environment
may affect people. Sometimes people
must change how they live to
fit into their surroundings.
People, goods, and ideas move every
day. They move in your state, our
country, and around
Areas of Earth with main features that
make them different from other areas
are called regions. A region can be
described by its physical features or
its human features.
Introduction ■ I3
Looking at Earth
A distant view from space shows Earth’s round shape.
You probably have a globe in your classroom. Like Earth, a
globe has the shape of a sphere, or ball. A globe is a model
of Earth. It shows Earth’s major bodies of water and its
continents. Continents are the largest land areas on Earth.
Earth’s seven continents, from the largest to the smallest,
are Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica,
Europe, and Australia.
Because of its shape, you can see only one half of Earth
at a time when you look at a globe. Halfway between the
North Pole and the South Pole on a globe is a line called
NORTH ATLANTIC %52/0%
I4 ■ Introduction
The equator divides Earth into two equal halves, or
hemispheres. The Northern Hemisphere is north of the
equator, and the Southern Hemisphere is south of it.
Another line on the globe is called the prime meridian. It
is often used to divide Earth into the Western Hemisphere
and the Eastern Hemisphere.
0!#)&)# ./24( !&2)#!
./24( !2#4)# !3)! !.4!2#4)#! ).$)!.
!-%2)#! /#%!. 3OUTH /#%!.
!4,!.4)# %52/0% 0!#)&)# !5342!,)!
Western Hemisphere !-%2)#! Eastern Hemisphere
!4,!.4)# Prime Meridian !&2)#!
./24( !.4!2#4)#! %52/0%
%QUATOR 3/54( %QUATOR !5342!,)!
Introduction ■ I5
Geography Terms f●
l● 8● e●
9● c● 6●
0● b● 1●
1● basin bowl-shaped area of land surrounded by 8● fall line area along which rivers form waterfalls
higher land or rapids as the rivers drop to lower land
2● bay an inlet of the sea or some other body of 9● glacier large ice mass that moves slowly down
water, usually smaller than a gulf a mountain or across land
3● canyon deep, narrow valley with steep sides 0● gulf part of a sea or ocean extending into the
4● cape point of land that extends into water
5● channel deepest part of a body of water land, usually larger than a bay
6● coastal plain area of flat land along a sea or
a● inlet any area of water extending into the land
from a larger body of water
7● delta triangle-shaped area of land at the mouth
b● isthmus narrow strip of land connecting two
of a river
larger areas of land
I6 ■ Introduction
c● marsh lowland with moist soil and tall grasses
d● mesa flat-topped mountain with steep sides l● sea level the level of the surface of an ocean or
e● mountain pass gap between mountains
f● mountain range row of mountains a sea
g● mouth of river place where a river empties
m● source of river place where a river begins
into another body of water n● strait narrow channel of water connecting two
h● peninsula land that is almost completely larger bodies of water
surrounded by water o● swamp area of low, wet land with trees
p● tributary stream or river that flows into a
i● plain area of flat or gently rolling low land
j● plateau area of high, mostly flat land larger stream or river
k● savanna area of grassland and scattered trees
q● volcano opening in Earth, often raised, through
which lava, rock, ashes, and gases are forced out
Introduction ■ I7
Maps give important information about the world
around you. A map is a drawing that shows all or part of
Earth on a flat surface. To help you read maps, mapmakers
add certain features to their maps. These features often
include a title, a map key, a compass rose, a locator, and a
Mapmakers sometimes need to show certain places on
a map in greater detail. Sometimes they must also show
places that are located beyond the area shown on a map.
A map title tells the subject of the map. 4HE
Find Alaska and Hawaii on the map below. These two
states are a long distance from the 48 contiguous
(kuhn•TIH•gyuh•wuhs) states. Each of the 48 contiguous
states shares at least one border with another state.
The United States covers a large area. To show very
much detail for Alaska and Hawaii and the rest of the
country, the map would have to be much larger. Instead,
Alaska and Hawaii are each shown in a separate inset map,
or a small map within a larger map.
A locator is a small map or globe that
shows where the place on the main
map is located within a larger area.
To help people find places on maps, mapmakers some-
times add lines that cross each other. These lines form a
pattern of squares called a grid system.
Lines of latitude run east and west on a map. They are
measured in degrees north or south of the equator.
Lines of longitude run north and south on a map. They
are measured in degrees east or west from the prime
You can give the location of a place by first naming the
line of latitude and then the line of longitude closest to it.
For example, Fayetteville is near 35˚N, 79˚W.
82°W 81°W 80°W 79°W 78°W 77°W 76°W
State capital VIRGINIA
State border TENNESSEE Pilot Mountain Roanoke Elizabeth
Clingmans Roan Nags
Dome Mountain Boone Winston- Greensboro Henderson Head
Mount Grandfather High Point Chapel Durham Rocky Plymouth
Mitchell Mountain Hill Raleigh Mount
Franklin Mt. Pisgah Charlotte Goldsboro New Bern Ocracoke Cape
Fayetteville Atlantic Hatteras
35°N Richland Beach
GEORGIA SOUTH CAROLINA N Lumberton Cape ATLANTIC
0 50 100 Miles Whiteville
0 50 100 Kilometers
Albers Equal-Area Projection WE 34°N
S Cape Fear
84°W 83°W 82°W 81°W 80°W 79°W 78°W 77°W 76°W
I10 ■ Introduction
HANGING ROCK STATE PARK North Carolina Interactive Presentations
STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY
COMPETENCY GOAL 1 The learner will
apply the five themes of geography to
North Carolina and its people.
Unit 1 ■ 1
The Big Idea
How do the five themes of geography help you understand the
land and people of North Carolina?
The study of Earth’s surface and the way people use it is called geography.
When geographers study Earth, they learn all they can about places and the peo-
ple who live there. To do this, they often think about five key topics, or themes.
THE FIVE THEMES OF GEOGRAPHY
Location Where is it?
Place What is it like there?
Regions How is this place like other places? How is it different?
Movement How and why do people, goods, and ideas move to and from this place?
Human-Environment Interactions How does this place affect people?
How do people affect this place?
Describe the area where you live by writing a sentence for each of the
five themes of geography.
2 ■ Unit 1
Reading Social Studies
%MASQ Main Idea and Details
The main idea is the most important idea of a paragraph or passage.
Details give more information about the main idea. The main idea is often
found at the beginning of a piece of writing. In long articles, each paragraph
has a main idea and details. The whole article also has a main idea and details.
The most important idea of a paragraph or piece of writing
Fact about the Fact about the Fact about the
main idea main idea main idea
Circle the main idea of each paragraph, and underline its details. The
first paragraph has been done for you.
North Carolina is one of the 50 states that make up the United States. The Main Idea
state of North Carolina is located in the southeastern part of the country.
North Carolina covers almost 53,000 square miles of land and water. Among Details
all the states, it ranks twenty-eighth in size.
North Carolina borders the Atlantic Ocean and several other states. The
state’s Atlantic coastline stretches north and south for 301 miles. North
Carolina shares its northern and western borders with Virginia and Tennessee.
To the south are the states of South Carolina and Georgia.
Unit 1 ■ 3
Read the article. Then complete the activities below.
North Carolina’s Weather
Before North Carolinians had Today, scientists do not use
scientific instruments to help folk wisdom to forecast the
them predict rain and snow, some weather. Instead, they depend on
farmers relied on folk wisdom. information about precipitation,
For example, they heard that if temperature, and wind speed.
squirrels buried nuts early, the Precipitation is water that falls
winter would be a hard one. onto Earth as rain, sleet, or snow.
A popular jingle told farmers
whether to harvest their crops Precipitation, temperature, and
or run for cover. wind speeds vary from one part
of the state to another. The
“If the moon shows a silver mountains of western North
shield, Carolina receive the most
Don’t be afraid to reap your precipitation. They get about 60
field; inches of rain or snow each year.
But if she rises haloed round, Throughout the state, temperatures
Soon you’ll walk on flooded change with the seasons. Wind
ground.” speeds also change.
1. In the first paragraph, circle the main idea and underline
2. What is the main idea of the second paragraph?
3. In the third paragraph, underline the detail that supports the
idea that the state’s weather varies from one part to another.
4 ■ Unit 1
Land, Water, and
A state’s location affects the kinds of land and resources it has. You could
use latitude and longitude to describe North Carolina’s absolute location,
or exact location. You could also describe its relative location, or position
compared to one or more other places on Earth, by saying that it is a state in
the southeastern United States. You can use absolute and relative locations to
describe where different kinds of land, bodies of water, and other resources
are found within North Carolina. What do you think you will learn about North
Carolina’s location and resources in this lesson?
NORTH CAROLINA AS SEEN FROM
STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY
1.01 Locate, in absolute and relative terms, major landforms,
bodies of water and natural resources in North Carolina.
Unit 1 ■ 5
Use the word landforms in North Carolina’s Landforms
Many different landforms can be found in
Scan the text on this page. North Carolina. Landforms are features such as
Underline the names of the plains, mountains, hills, and valleys.
two areas that make up the
Coastal Plain. The Coastal Plain
Stretching inland from the Atlantic Ocean
across eastern North Carolina is the Coastal
Plain. It is the lowest and flattest landform in
The Coastal Plain has two parts. The east-
ern part is called the Outer Coastal Plain, or
Tidewater. The western part is called the Inner
The Outer Banks lie along the eastern edge
of the Outer Coastal Plain. The Outer Banks are
barrier islands. These islands stretch between the
Atlantic Ocean and the mainland. The Tidewater
also has some wetlands. Wetlands are low-lying
areas that are at least partially covered by water.
The land in the Inner Coastal Plain is drier and
higher than the Tidewater. In the southwest cor-
ner of the Inner Coastal Plain are the Sandhills.
This area has rolling hills of rough, sandy soil.
The Coastal Plain The Piedmont The Mountains
North Carolina Latitude and Longitude
82°W 81°W 80°W 79°W 78°W 77°W 76°W
State capital VIRGINIA Lake Cho Elizabeth
Other city Gaston City
State border Hyco
Lake wan R.Boone Yadkin Riverke RiverAlbemarle SoundNags
Roano Phelps Head
mber River 36°N
Pee Dee River
Catawba River High Raleigh Lake Lake
road River Lake Rock
Asheville Lake Mattamuskeet
Neuse River Pamlico R. ound
Franklin Lu Fayetteville New Bern
GEORGIA SOUTH CAROLINA N Cape Fear River Onslow Bay Atlantic
0 50 100 Miles WE Lake Wilmington Beach ATLANTIC
0 50 100 Kilometers
Albers Equal-Area Projection 34°N
84°W 83°W 82°W 81°W 80°W 79°W 78°W 77°W 76°W
The Piedmont LOCATION Study the map.
To the west of the Coastal Plain is a wide pla- Use latitude and longitude to
describe the absolute location
teau called the Piedmont. A plateau is flat land of Albemarle Sound.
that rises above the land around it.
List two details related to
The Piedmont has a variety of landforms. It is the main idea.
an area of rolling hills and low mountains. The Main Idea: The Piedmont has a
land drops sharply where the Piedmont meets variety of landforms.
the Coastal Plain. This area of steep land is called Detail:
the Fall Line.
Mountains lie to the west of the Piedmont and Unit 1 ■ 7
cover most of western North Carolina. These
mountains include the Blue Ridge Mountains and
the Great Smoky Mountains. Clouds often cover
the peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains, giving
them a smoky appearance.
All of the mountains in North Carolina are
part of the larger Appalachian Range. The
Appalachian Range stretches from Canada to
Alabama. More than 40 peaks in the Appalachian
Range are higher than 6,000 feet. Mount Mitchell
is the highest peak in the eastern United States, at
Scan the text on this page. North Carolina’s Water
Underline two reasons why
bodies of water are important. North Carolina has many rivers and lakes.
People enjoy using North Carolina’s rivers and
Skim the text in this lakes for fishing, boating, and other kinds of rec-
section. Write down a question reation. People also depend on these bodies of
you have about North water to meet their daily needs.
Carolina’s bodies of water.
Many of North Carolina’s rivers have their
source, or beginning, high in the Appalachian
Mountains. From there, they join other rivers and
flow across the Piedmont and the Coastal Plain to
the Atlantic Ocean.
Rivers flow swiftly through the mountains and
the Piedmont. On the Coastal Plain, rivers spread
out and slow down. They do so because the land
of the Coastal Plain is much flatter.
As rivers slow down, they leave on banks and
floodplains sand and soil carried from the moun-
tains. A floodplain is low, flat land along a river.
(right) and the Eno River
8 ■ Unit 1
North Carolina Rivers and Lakes
Waccamaw R.Hyco LakeJ. H. KerrLake Cho
Lu Reservoir Gaston
OnslN Yadkin RiverFalls Tar wan R.
TENNESSEE Lake Roano
French B River
W. Kerr Scott Haw River ke River Albemarle Sound
Reservoir Deep River Phelps
road River Lake Catawba River High Lake Lake
ee River James Rock
ee R. Lake
Little Tenness Mattamuskeet
Fontana Lake B. Everett
Lake Hickory Jordan
Hiwassee Broad River Lake Lake Pamlico R.
Lake Norman Lake Neuse
Tillery mber River Northe River Pamlico
ky River Pee Dee River
SOUTH CAROLINA Blewett Cape Fear River ast Cape Fear R.
GEORGIA ow Bay ATLANTIC
0 50 100 Miles N
0 50 100 Kilometers W E Lake
Albers Equal-Area Projection Waccamaw
The Cape Fear River is one of the state’s best- LOCATION Study the map.
known rivers. Many tributaries join the Cape What river is located between
Fear River as it flows southeast toward the coast. the Chowan and Tar Rivers?
A tributary is a river or stream that flows into a
larger river. The Haw and Deep Rivers are How does the Eastern
tributaries of the Cape Fear River. Continental Divide affect rivers
in North Carolina?
A river and its tributaries make up a river
system. A river system carries rainwater and Unit 1 ■ 9
melted snow and ice away from the land around
it. The Cape Fear River system drains almost
one-fifth of the state’s land area.
The Eastern Continental Divide is a ridge that
runs along the Appalachian Mountains. In North
Carolina, rivers to the east of the divide flow
across the Piedmont and the Coastal Plain. Rivers
to the west of the divide flow mainly west or north.
In addition to the state’s rivers, there are also
many lakes. These include Phelps Lake in the
Coastal Plain, High Rock Lake in the Piedmont,
and Fontana Lake in the mountains.
Some lakes are natural. Others are reservoirs, or
human-made lakes that store water. Reservoirs are
often formed when dams are built.
Scan the text on this page. Natural Resources
Circle the paragraph that
describes rock and mineral Water is one of the many natural resources in
resources in North Carolina. North Carolina. A natural resource is something
found in nature that people can use to grow or
HUMAN-ENVIRONMENT make the things they need or want.
INTERACTIONS Study the map.
List three crops that are grown Resources from the Land
near the city of Greenville. Another natural resource in North Carolina
is fertile soil. Some of the first crops grown in
the state were tobacco and corn. Today, farmers
also grow cotton, cucumbers, peanuts, soybeans,
sweet potatoes, watermelons, and wheat.
Rocks and minerals are another resource in
the state. Most minerals are found in western
North Carolina. The state’s most important
minerals are feldspar, mica (MY•kuh), lithium
(LIH•thee•uhm), and olivine (AH•luh•veen).
Feldspar is used to make glass. Mica is a com-
mon ingredient in paint and wallpaper. Lithium
is used in batteries and as medicine. Olivine is
used to make steel.
Land Use, Products, and Resources
N TENNESSEE Boone Elizabeth City
WE Asheville Williamston
Winston-Salem Greensboro Durham
GEORGIA SOUTH CAROLINA
Farming Dairy Phosphate Wilmington
Forestry Fish Poultry
Little-used land Forestry Soybeans ATLANTIC
Apples Hay Stone OCEAN
Cattle Hogs Sweet potatoes
Clay Mica Tobacco 0 50 100 Miles
Corn Peanuts Wheat
Cotton 0 50 100 Kilometers
Albers Equal-Area Projection
NORTH CAROLINA PRODUCTS include corn and gravel (right). Why are forests an
important natural resource?
Most of North Carolina’s sand and gravel
comes from the Sandhills. Much of the state’s Scan the text on this page.
granite and clay comes from the Piedmont. Underline the sentence that
Emeralds and other gemstones can be found in describes a broadleaf tree.
Unit 11 ■ 11
Plants and Animals
Plants and animals are also important
resources. Since earliest times, people have used
them for food and to make clothing. Some plants
are also used to make medicines.
Forests have long been an important resource.
People use trees for building and to make paper
and other products. North Carolina has more
forestland than most other states. The largest for-
ests are in the mountains. Together, the Pisgah
and Nantahala Forests in western North Carolina
cover more than a million acres of land.
Broadleaf and needleleaf trees grow in the
state’s forests. A broadleaf tree has wide, flat
leaves. Needleleaf trees have thin, sharp leaves
that stay green all year. For this reason, they are
also known as evergreens.
John White was one of the ﬁrst Europeans to visit
North Carolina. In addition to being an explorer, he
was also a talented artist. When White visited the
Outer Banks in 1585, he drew the people and the
birds, ﬁsh, and other animals he saw on his voyage.
He also kept a journal. His journal and pictures
tell us much of what we know about early
1587 John White becomes
governor of Roanoke colony
1. SUMMARIZE List three of North Carolina’s 3. Where are most of North Carolina’s mineral
resources, and tell where they are located. resources found?
2. What are used to find the absolute location 4. Where are many of the state’s largest
of a place? forests found?
Find Locations With a classmate, use the maps on pages 7
and 10 to find the absolute and relative locations of features and
12 ■ Unit 1
To study North Carolina, geographers often divide the state into regions.
A region is an area with features that make it different from other areas.
Regions may be based on physical features, such as landforms, climate, or
natural resources. Regions can also be based on human features, such as
history or culture. Culture is a group’s way of life. How will reading this
lesson improve your understanding of the regions of North Carolina?
CHARLOTTE, IN THE PIEDMONT REGION
STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY
1.01 Locate, in absolute and relative terms, major landforms,
bodies of water and natural resources in North Carolina.
1.02 Describe and compare physical and cultural characteristics
of the regions.
Unit 1 ■ 13
What is the main idea of Physical Regions
the ﬁrst paragraph?
North Carolina is often divided into three
Scan the text on this page. regions based on landforms. These regions are
Circle a physical feature that is the Coastal Plain region, the Piedmont region,
found in each region. and the Mountain region.
The Coastal Plain region covers almost half of
the state. It stretches more than 100 miles from
the Atlantic Ocean to the Fall Line. This region
has sandy beaches, swampy wetlands, and flat or
gently rolling land.
The Piedmont region stretches about 200 miles
from the Fall Line to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Piedmont is made up of plateaus, rounded
hills, and low ridges.
The Mountain region is the smallest region.
Much of the land in the Mountain region is steep
and covered with forests.
North Carolina Landform Regions
Mt. Mitchell Mountain
14 ■ Unit 1
Cultural Regions Use the word descendant in
Cultural regions are often based on groups of
people. They may include the places where peo- REGIONS Study the map.
ple live, the languages they speak, the foods they Underline the name of the
eat, or even the things they do for recreation. largest region.
Most people in North Carolina today are the
descendants (dih•SEN•duhnts), or children and
grandchildren, of American Indians, Europeans,
Africans, and Asians. In the past, these groups
and others settled in North Carolina. As a result,
there are many different cultures in the state.
Physical regions often affect cultural regions.
For example, some people in the Coastal Plain
region enjoy sailing and surfing. Many people in
the Mountain region ski or hike.
Cultural regions can change over time. When
Europeans first came to North Carolina, they
lived mostly on the Coastal Plain. Today, the
Piedmont has the most people.
Unit 1 ■ 15
1. SUMMARIZE How are the regions of North Circle the letter of the correct answer.
3. Where do most North Carolinians live?
2. Write a sentence using the word culture. A near mountains
B in the Piedmont
C on the coast
D near the wetlands
4. Which of the following could be used to
describe a cultural region?
FILL IN THE BLANK Complete the sentences, using words from Word Bank
the Word Bank.
5. _________________ is a group’s way of life. region p. 13
culture p. 13
6. People’s _________________ are their children descendants p. 15
7. A _________________ is an area with features
that make it different from other areas.
Write a Booklet Create a booklet about North Carolina’s
regions. Write about and draw pictures to illustrate the physical
and cultural characteristics of each region.
16 ■ Unit 1
Ways of Life
Today, more than 8 million people live in North Carolina. People live in every
region of the state. Where people choose to live often affects their way of
life. How will reading this lesson help you understand how location affects
people’s way of life?
BALD HEAD ISLAND, IN THE
COASTAL PLAIN REGION
STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY
1.03 Suggest some influences that location has on life in North
Carolina such as major cities, recreation areas, industry,
Unit 1 ■ 17
Scan the text on this page. Location and Cities
Where were many of North
Carolina’s ﬁrst cities located? The Coastal Plain region was the first to be
settled by Europeans. As a result, many of North
REGIONS Study the map. Carolina’s first cities were located along the
Are more cities shown in the coast. Greenville, Jacksonville, and Wilmington
northern part or southern were built near water routes. The largest city in
part of the Piedmont Urban the Coastal Plain region today is Fayetteville.
Today, most of the state’s urban, or city, areas
are in the Piedmont region near major high-
ways and airports. Many of the region’s cities lie
within a 140-mile curving region known as the
Piedmont Urban Crescent. Seven of the state’s
largest cities—Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro,
Durham, Winston-Salem, Cary, and High Point—
are located there.
The Piedmont Urban Crescent also has smaller
areas. The cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel
Hill form an area known as the Triangle. The
cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High
Point form the Triad. The Triad is made up of
these cities and many smaller cities and towns in
a 12-county area.
The Mountain region has many small towns
but few large cities. Asheville is the largest city in
the Mountain region.
Piedmont Urban Crescent
Elizabeth City Kill
TENNESSEE Boone Yadkin River Hills
French B RoanoTarRockyke River
Asheville RiverGreensboro DurhamMount
Pee Dee River
Franklin Catawba River High Point Chapel Hill
road RiverHickory Cary Raleigh
Broad River Neuse River Pamlico R.
GEORGIA Cape Fear Jacksonville ATLANTIC
50 100 Miles
Piedmont Urban Crescent W SOUTH Wilmington
City 0 50 100 Kilometers
Albers Equal-Area Projection
Location and Industry RESOURCES AND PRODUCTS Wood (left) is
used to make products such as paper (right).
North Carolina is home to many industries. An Why do you think
industry is all the businesses that make one kind industries might be located
of product or provide one kind of service. Some near transportation routes?
industries have been in the state for centuries.
List an industry that is
Industries are often built near the resources located in each region.
they use or near transportation routes. In the Coastal Plain:
Coastal Plain and Mountain regions, forestry
has long been an important industry. Trees are Piedmont:
used for lumber and to make paper. The seafood
industry is also important to the Coastal Plain. Mountain:
For centuries, people there have made their liv-
ing catching and preparing fish and shellfish.
Important industries are located throughout
the Piedmont. These include the furniture and
textile industries. The textile industry makes
cloth and other materials. Other industries in the
region make electronics and machinery.
Tourism is a major industry in all parts of
North Carolina. Tourism is the selling of goods
and services to travelers. Many people in the
Mountain region work in the tourism industry.
Unit 1 ■ 19
Scan the text on this page. Location and Farming
Underline the most important
livestock raised in North Agriculture, or farming, is big business in
Carolina. many rural areas of the state. A rural area is an
area in the countryside.
Study the table. Fill in two
of the most important crops North Carolina has more than 9 million acres
not listed. of farmland. Farming includes the growing of
crops and raising of livestock, or farm animals.
Leading Agricultural Products Some farms produce many products and crops.
in North Carolina Others raise only one kind of crop or livestock.
Hogs, chickens, and turkeys are the most impor-
CROPS LIVESTOCK tant livestock raised in the state.
tobacco chickens Most farms are located in the Coastal Plain
and the Piedmont. The flat land and fertile soil in
sweet potatoes hogs these regions make it easier to farm. Some of the
most important crops raised are tobacco, sweet
corn turkeys potatoes, corn, cotton, and wheat.
cattle Farmers in the Mountain region grow apple
trees. In fact, North Carolina is one of the largest
sheep apple-growing states. Farmers in the region also
grow Fraser fir trees. These are most often sold
as Christmas trees. About one out of every five
Christmas trees in the United States comes from
A FARMING STATE Some of the agricultural products in North
Carolina include hogs and apples.
20 ■ Unit 1
Location and Recreation WHITE-WATER RAFTING is one of
the activities people can enjoy in the
The land and climate of North Carolina allow Mountain region.
people to work in many different ways. People
also use the land for recreation. What is the main idea of
the text on this page?
Many Coastal Plain activities are linked to
the water. The Outer Banks have more than 100 Unit 1 ■ 21
miles of sandy beaches. Sailboats and motor-
boats travel the Intracoastal Waterway, a waterway
between the mainland and barrier islands.
People in the Piedmont enjoy many attractions.
Some of the best museums in the state are located
in the region’s large cities. There are also several
parks and lakes. Many people enjoy sports in the
Piedmont. Most of the state’s college and profes-
sional sports teams are located there.
Skiing, biking, and rock climbing are a few of
the activities that people enjoy in the Mountain
region. Some people travel on rivers using rub-
ber rafts and kayaks. People can also take long
hikes on mountain trails.
1. SUMMARIZE How does the location of Circle the letter of the correct answer.
each region affect the people who live
there? 3. Where are most of the apples in North
2. Use the words urban and rural in a A in the mountains
sentence. B in the Triangle
C in the Piedmont
D in the Coastal Plain
4. Which cities form the Triad?
A Greenville, Jacksonville, Wilmington
B Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point
C Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill
D Asheville, Fayetteville, Raleigh
MATCHING Draw a line connecting each word on the left with its
definition on the right.
5. urban all businesses that make a certain
product or provide one kind of
6. industry describes a place in the countryside
7. tourism describes a city and its surrounding
8. rural the selling of goods and services to
Write a Newspaper Article Write a newspaper article about
North Carolina. Describe how the locations of the three regions
affect the ways people live and the activities they can do.
22 ■ Unit 1
People and the
People have lived in what is now North Carolina for thousands of years.
Over time, people learned how to live in and use their surroundings, or
physical environment. Sometimes, people adjusted their ways of life to
fit the physical environment. Other times, people changed the physical envi-
ronment to meet their needs. What ideas do you think you will learn about
people and the environment as you read this lesson?
FONTANA DAM, IN THE MOUNTAIN
STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY
1.04 Evaluate ways the people of North Carolina used, modified,
and adapted to the physical environment, past and present.
Unit 1 ■ 23
List two details related to Early People and the Land
the main idea.
Main Idea: Early people adapted to Early people in North Carolina most likely
the physical environment. traveled in small groups. These groups worked
Detail: together to find resources. They hunted large ani-
mals such as mammoths. Mammoths were hairy,
Detail: elephantlike animals. Early people also fished
and gathered nuts, berries, and plants.
Circle the meaning of the
word adapt. Long ago, Earth’s climate was much colder
than it is today. About 10,000 years ago, the cli-
mate grew warmer. Most of the plants that large
animals ate could no longer grow. This may be
one reason that large animals died out over time.
As the climate changed, early people had
to adapt, or adjust their ways of life to fit the
new physical environment. They learned to
hunt smaller animals such as rabbits. They also
learned to catch more fish by using weirs. Weirs
are fence-like traps that are placed across a river.
About 3,500 years ago, people began farming.
To farm, people settled in places near resources
such as water and good soil. They also cleared
land to grow crops.
EARLY PEOPLE worked together to hunt
Europeans and the Land EUROPEANS in North Carolina worked
together to build settlements.
Europeans first came to North Carolina dur-
ing the late 1500s. Like all groups who settle in a Study the illustration. Put
place, they had to sometimes modify, or change, an X over three examples of
the physical environment. European settlers using wood.
Europeans first settled in the Coastal Plain Skim the text on this
region. They cleared large areas of land to build page. Circle the paragraph
homes and to grow crops. They adapted to the that describes how European
environment by learning which crops grew best. settlers used forests.
Some started huge farms called plantations.
Unit 1 ■ 25
Settlers also used the forests of the Coastal
Plain. They built sawmills to make lumber for
ships and buildings. They used pine trees to
make naval stores such as turpentine and tar.
Naval stores were important in shipbuilding.
European settlers in the Piedmont and moun-
tains lived far from towns. They grew their own
food and made most of the goods they needed.
Families often helped one another clear land or
do other hard tasks.
Why is water an important People Today and the Land
People today still adapt to and modify the
Study the illustration. environment. As times change, the ways in
Circle the part where electricity which people adapt and modify also change.
Since earliest times, people have used water for
farming and for transportation. European settlers
also used water for power. They built mills near
rivers and streams. The fast-moving water turned
large wheels, which in turn powered machines
inside the mills.
Water is still used for power. Today, this is
usually done by building dams across rivers and
streams. As water flows through a dam, it turns
machines that produce electricity. Electric power
made in this way is called hydroelectricity.
Fontana Dam is the highest dam east of the
Rocky Mountains. The building of the dam cre-
ated a large reservoir called Fontana Lake.
A Hydroelectric Dam
Water from a reservoir flows
through the dam.
The water turns large Electricity is sent to
machines called turbines, places over a network
which make electricity. of electrical lines.
26 ■ Unit 1
Blue Ridge Parkway
0 40 80 Miles M O U N TA I N S Waynesboro
0 40 80 Kilometers VIRGINIA
Albers Equal-Area Projection
THE LINN COVE VIADUCT
Modifying the Land MOVEMENT Study the map.
North Carolinians often modify the land to Trace the route of the Blue
Ridge Parkway and list the
reach resources. They dig wells to reach water states that it runs through.
deep underground. They also dig large mines to
reach mineral resources.
People also modify the land to improve trans-
portation. They dig canals and build railroads
and highways. Today, North Carolina has more
than 100,000 miles of paved roads.
In 1935, workers began building the Blue Ridge
Parkway. The parkway stretches for about 470
miles from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia
to the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina.
Most of the parkway was completed by 1967.
The only unfinished part was a small section near
Grandfather Mountain. For many years, people
searched for a way to build this section without
damaging the mountain. People decided to com-
plete the parkway with a viaduct, a raised road or
bridge that rests on a series of columns. The Linn
Cove Viaduct was finished in 1987.
Unit 1 ■ 27
1. SUMMARIZE How have people modified 3. How did European settlers use North
the physical environment of North Carolina? Carolina’s resources?
2. Write a sentence using the words adapt 4. Why do people today build dams?
MATCHING Draw a line connecting each group of people on the left
with the correct description on the right.
5. early people built the Linn Cove Viaduct
6. European settlers used weirs to catch fish
7. recent people built huge farms called plantations
Write a Letter Imagine that you are one of the first European
settlers in North Carolina. Write a letter to a friend explaining how
you use the land. Be sure to include ways you have had to adapt to and
modify the land.
28 ■ Unit 1
Over time, many people have moved to and from North Carolina. People
have also moved from place to place within the state. Whenever people move,
some features of the environment allow them to move easily. Other features
make it more difficult for people to move. How do you think this lesson will
improve your understanding of how people move?
CHARLOTTE DOUGLAS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY
1.05 Assess human movement as it relates to the physical
Unit 1 ■ 29
Circle the sentence that Movement and the
deﬁnes the word migration. Environment
MOVEMENT Study the map. Many scientists think that early people moved
Did early people reach North from Asia to North America. Most believe early
America or South America people came by crossing a land “bridge.”
Thousands of years ago, the climate was very
cold. Much of Earth’s water was frozen. This
caused ocean levels to fall. As a result, areas
such as the land bridge between Asia and North
America were no longer covered by water.
Early people may have followed the animals
they hunted across the land bridge. Over time,
early people moved throughout North America
to places including what is today North Carolina.
This migration, or movement of people, took
thousands of years.
As people learned to farm, many chose to settle
in one place. However, even settled groups some-
times moved to new places. Often they moved to
find new resources. Natural disasters and climate
changes also caused groups to move. Sometimes
groups moved to escape conflicts with others.
EARLY SAILORS feared the waters off North Carolina. Over time, Scan the text on this page.
people built lighthouses such as the one at Cape Hatteras (right) to Underline the Coastal Plain
help sailors avoid danger. features that made travel more
Movement in the Coastal Plain
How do you think wetlands
The Coastal Plain region is the lowest and affected settlement in North
flattest area of the state. Many wide rivers flow Carolina?
through the region. These features make it easier
for people to travel and move goods. It is also Unit 1 ■ 31
easier for people to build roads and railroads on
Some features of the Coastal Plain make
travel more difficult. Wetlands, such as the
Great Dismal Swamp, slowed the movement of
people. During the 1500s, the Outer Banks kept
many European explorers from reaching North
Carolina’s mainland. Shallow waters and storms
made the area dangerous for ships. In fact, Cape
Hatteras is often called the Graveyard of the
Atlantic. This is because so many ships were
Over time, European sailors found safe routes
through the Outer Banks. Today, the waters of
the Coastal Plain are used for travel, for recre-
ation, and to move goods.
List a detail related to the Movement in the Piedmont
Main Idea: Early settlers moving to The Piedmont region has a higher elevation
the Piedmont from the Coastal Plain than the Coastal Plain. Elevation is the height of
found the Fall Line difficult to cross. the land above sea level.
Detail: The lower elevation of the Coastal Plain meets
the higher elevation of the Piedmont at the Fall
PLACE Study the map. Line. Early settlers moving to the Piedmont from
Circle the areas that have an the Coastal Plain found the Fall Line difficult to
elevation above 2,500 feet. cross. The land is steep, and rivers drop from the
Piedmont as waterfalls or rapids. Thick forests
also made travel by wagon difficult.
In the early 1700s, European settlers from
Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia found a
new way to reach the Piedmont. These settlers
moved to the Piedmont from the north. They
followed an American Indian trail that became
known as the Great Wagon Road.
Over time, this route and others became impor-
tant roads in the state. Today, goods are moved
throughout the state from the large cities of the
North Carolina Elevation
M O U N TA I N S VIRGINIA
TENLNittElAeSTCSePlnEinnEPgeDmssoAGeamerneLesatASmCokyHFAMrestnhsI.ceMhAvtBi.lMlNPeiMosgMuiatnRochtohuaaeniSnnltlouthLMinCtcMGaso.tr3oBalanuwon5tnodbo8tfnanaaMeiRtnhivYe/aerrdNkNLiOnaokRrRemiveTarnNHPWSEiPCalHooWilniteAignsmMhttRSoonuOPn- EtLaGIiCnNreAe–nsEboLrEo VRADaTulerIihgOahTmNar Elizabeth
mber River ke River Albemarle Sound
Pee Dee River
road River Mattamuskeet
Neuse River Sound
Richland Charlotte Lu
GEORGIA SOUTH CAROLINA Cape Fear River Jacksonville
Feet Meters N ATLANTIC
Above 760 State Wilmington OCEAN
300 capital S
Above 2,500 City or 0 50 100 Miles
1,000 150 town
500 45 0 50 100 Kilometers
150 Albers Equal-Area Projection
0 Below sea level 0
EARLY MOUNTAIN SETTLERS lived in cabins such as this one in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Movement in the Mountains Study the graph. How
many more people lived in
The mountains of North Carolina were first North Carolina in 1810 than
settled by the Cherokee more than 1,000 years in 1790?
ago. The Cherokee are an American Indian
group. European settlers did not move to the North Carolina Population,
region until the late 1700s.
1790 – 1820
To most Europeans, western North Carolina
was part of the frontier. A frontier is an area 800,000
beyond settled land. As more people moved to
the Piedmont, some settlers moved to the frontier 700,000
for new lands.
Number of People 600,000
Moving to the mountains was not easy. Many
routes through the mountains were only steep, 500,000
narrow trails. Rock slides, snowstorms, and
floods were some of the dangers that travelers 400,000
Because travel was so difficult, the Mountain
region was the last part of the state to be settled 200,000
by Europeans. As transportation improved,
the population of North Carolina grew. Today, 100,000
people travel through the mountains more easily,
using highways and railroads. 0 1790 1800 1810 1820
Unit 1 ■ 33
1. SUMMARIZE How has North Carolina’s Circle the letter of the correct answer.
physical environment affected people’s
decisions about where to move? 4. What physical features of the Coastal Plain
make travel easy?
2. Write the definition of the word migration A the wetlands
in your own words. B the rapids of the Fall Line
C the steep mountains
3. How did the land bridge influence the D the low, flat lands
migration of early people?
5. How did most Europeans move to the
Piedmont region from the north?
A They sailed along the Outer Banks.
B They followed rivers.
C They used the Great Wagon Road.
D They built a railroad.
6. Why was the Mountain region the last
region to be settled by Europeans?
A The elevation is too low.
B It was difficult to cross the mountains.
C It was already settled by earlier
D The land was too wet for farming.
Make a Chart Make a chart of the three regions of North Carolina.
For each region, list the physical features that served to encourage
movement and those that made travel more difficult.
34 ■ Unit 1
Review and Test Prep
The Big Idea
People can use the five themes of geography to help them
study and understand the land and people of North Carolina.
Summarize the Unit
Focus Main Idea and Details Complete the organizer to show
how land in North Carolina can be divided into regions.
North Carolina can be divided into three main
Fill in the missing word using a vocabulary word from the Word Bank.
1. People often their ways of life to fit the physical
2. The Piedmont region has the most city, or , areas.
3. The of a group is its way of life. Word Bank
4. The height of the land is its . landforms p. 6
culture p. 13
5. are features such as plains, mountains, hills, urban p. 18
and valleys. adapt p. 24
elevation p. 32
Unit 1 ■ 35
Think About It
6. List some of the natural resources found in North Carolina.
7. How is the land in each of North Carolina’s regions different?
8. How do North Carolinians today modify the land?
Circle the letter of the correct answer. 10. Which cities form the Triangle?
9. Which of the following could be used to A Charlotte, Greenville, Raleigh
define a cultural region? B Greensboro, Roxboro, Wake Forest
C Asheboro, Greenville, WiImington
A landforms D Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham
Writing Write a Diary Entry To play a game that reviews
the unit, join Eco in the
Imagine that you are one of the first colonists North Carolina Adventures
to settle in the mountains of North Carolina. Write a online or on CD.
diary entry detailing your journey to the area.
Activity Make an Atlas
Make an atlas of North Carolina. Include maps,
fact sheets, graphs, charts, and illustrations about
the different features of the state.
36 ■ Unit 1
North Carolina Interactive Presentations
STANDARD COURSE OF STUDY
COMPETENCY GOAL 3 The learner will
trace the history of colonization in North
Carolina and evaluate its significance for
diverse people’s ideas.
Unit 2 ■ 37